Posted by William Charles on January 31, 2017
Hotel Booking

Published on January 31st, 2017 | by William Charles

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Hilton Removing Award Categories – Bad News For Consumers

Just as I finished up our post on four new positive benefits that Hilton are adding, I found out some additional information and in my mind it’s not good news at all. According to One Mile At A Time, Hilton will be removing award categories entirely. Currently all Hilton programs fall into one of the following categories:

Hilton-3

OMAAT says that it doesn’t sound horrible because the maximum rate for an award room will still cap out at 95,000 points – but I entirely disagree. This will allow Hilton to use dynamic pricing on award rates and also make mass devaluations without any notice (and it’s more likely that they can make more stealth increases to the price in points without bloggers like myself calling them out on it). Currently Hilton announces a list of properties that will be changing category (up and down) every quarter, going forward this will no longer be necessary.

I thought the recent American Express/Citi bonuses were too generous and it looks like I was right. I fully expect Hilton properties to go up in price when this change is added and I hate award programs that do this. If you want dynamic pricing with awards, points value should be tied to the cash rate (ala Southwest) – rather than the Delta route.

Well done to the Hilton media team for burying the lead on this one.



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Awards are not really capped 95,000 because during high demand or high season, I’ve seen a standard room going for 250,000 for category 7 property. I regretted zeroing my HHonors balance earlier this year but not anymore.

Thanks for the heads up. I pulled the trigger on an award in light of this news. Now I have 225 points in my account.

Hilton following the Delta playbook is aggravating.

Hilton is also getting rid of the excellent fixed points and money redemption rates. They are being replaced by flexible points and money where you just get 0.46c off the cash rate per 1 point.

Most useless hotel award program, getting even less useful.

Agreed. Just look at Maui Hilton for April 7th – 11 and you’ll see 290,000 / night. Already dynamic

Couldn’t find anything available to book with points for those dates. Bout a week ago I booked room there for April 23 and 24th both days only 80,000 points needed.

I think that’s because it’s only 2 months away and all standard rooms have been booked.

I wouldn’t consider that evidence it has started quite yet.

Sadly, technically southwest is quazi-dynamic pricing now too. They said last year that they wouldn’t always tie the points value to $00.0167 and have the right to adjust redemption values as they so choose. That being said, I have yet to book anything less than .0164 myself.

When is this supposed to go into effect?

all they’ve announced is “late February” so far.

Looks like Hilton has officially done a site re-design (mostly cosmetic, no real performance improvement). They’ve also put up some examples for their new award pricing. http://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/promotions/points-and-money/pricing.html

That makes it look less bad, but I’m sure they chose their examples carefully, plus there’s the note: “Pricing subject to change by date and by property upon launch of Points & Money. “New Estimated Lowest Points Price” is based on the lowest available rate at each hotel as of January 26, 2017. As Points pricing will be real-time, the minimum may change after launch.”

They also fail to mention what’s going to happen to better-than-standard rooms (which can cost up to twice as much as the category, or even more, in my experience).

I agree that we’re going to be seeing a lot of stealth increases :/

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